AMHERST, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Libraries throughout the U.S. are implementing new technologies to adapt to the changing habits of the digital age by adding additional services such as wireless Internet (97.5 percent), e-readers (25.4 percent) and tablets (16.5 percent)1. But technology is also driving a different trend that is redefining the very role that libraries play. By offering access to 3D printing, libraries nationwide are turning into labs of experimentation and innovation for aspiring entrepreneurs and help advance creativity for everyone2. To date, MakerBot® 3D Printers and Scanners are in an estimated 500 libraries across the U.S.
UMass Amherst is embracing this concept in a big and unprecedented way by teaming up with MakerBot to deploy the first large-scale 3D printing MakerBot Innovation Center in New England and the first ever at a university library. The MakerBot Innovation Center at UMass Amherst is located in the Digital Media Lab at the iconic Du Bois Library, which is focused on facilitating project-based learning and innovation on campus and providing this access to the surrounding community. MakerBot is excited to join UMass Amherst for the grand opening of the MakerBot Innovation Center at 10:00 a.m., March 26, 2015. Students, parents, press, business partners and community members are invited to join the opening ceremony with speeches from University staff and representatives from MakerBot.
A MakerBot Innovation Center is a large-scale installation (more than 30) of MakerBot Replicator® 3D Printers and supporting devices that empower organizations and educational institutions to innovate faster, increase collaboration and compete more effectively. At UMass Amherst, the MakerBot Innovation Center brings 3D printing technology to faculty, researchers and thousands of students —from business majors for entrepreneurial pursuits, to architects for creating models, to engineering and science students for developing concepts and tools.
Jay Schafer, director of libraries at UMass Amherst, said: “The MakerBot Innovation Center ties in firmly with the campus’s personality of being entrepreneurial and community engaged and will allow us to work more closely with the local business community. Having a large-scale installation of MakerBot 3D Printers makes this resource more broadly available on campus and puts UMass Amherst at the forefront of technological innovation. The MakerBot Innovation Center will help bridge the gap between the digital and the physical realm, so students can turn designs into 3D physical objects and prototypes.” Schafer also noted that the MakerBot Innovation Center is designed to foster cross-disciplinary collaboration. A group of faculty from environmental conservation, building and construction technology, biology, public health, public policy and engineering already has plans to offer a makerspace class that will use the MakerBot Innovation Center as a resource for projects centered on remote sensing, environmental monitoring and building control systems.
“We’re thrilled to be a part of UMass Amherst’s unique Digital Media Lab that emphasizes technology and project-based learning,” said Mark Schulze, UMass graduate and MakerBot general manager of the Americas and Emerging Markets. “UMass Amherst realizes that the jobs of tomorrow will require strong technology and collaboration skills. To prepare students for these jobs, the MakerBot Innovation Center will help to cultivate entrepreneurialism, education and innovation in Massachusetts and far beyond.”
Note: An extended version of this press release with more details is available in the MakerBot Newsroom.
MakerBot is a leader in the desktop 3D printing industry and was founded in 2009 as one of the first companies to make 3D printing accessible and affordable. MakerBot now has one of the largest installed bases and market shares of the desktop 3D printing industry, with more than 80,000 MakerBot 3D printers in the world and a robust MakerBot 3D Ecosystem that combines hardware, software, apps like MakerBot PrintShop™ and MakerBot Mobile, materials, training, support, consulting, retail stores, partnerships and Thingiverse, the world’s largest 3D printing community, in order to make 3D printing easy and accessible for everyone.
MakerBot, a subsidiary of Stratasys Ltd. (Nasdaq:SSYS), is leading the Next Industrial Revolution by setting the standards in reliable and affordable desktop 3D printing. Founded in 2009, MakerBot sells desktop 3D printers to innovative and industry-leading customers worldwide, including engineers, architects, designers, educators and consumers. To learn more about MakerBot, visit makerbot.com.
About UMass Amherst
Now in its 151st year, UMass Amherst encompasses more than 1,400 acres and 300 buildings. More than 28,000 students are enrolled, including nearly 21,000 undergraduates from 49 states and 68 countries. Graduates of UMass Amherst are an indispensable part of the state’s knowledge economy. They study here and remain in the Commonwealth in greater numbers than any other school’s alumni. The campus has more in-state alumni than any other college in Massachusetts, private or public. The Amherst campus has more than 242,000 living alumni, with 123,000 residing in the Commonwealth.